« "We have built the web to connect to ourselves, and it’s not designed to filter any demons out of our minds." | Main | The Powers of the People »

February 20, 2011

"Get Guns..." When Corrupt Politics Led to Guns in Athens, Tennessee

It's 1946 in Tennessee and the time was right for fighting in the streets:
“You call yourselves GIs—you go over there and fight for three and four years—you come back and you let a bunch of draft dodgers who stayed here where it was safe, and you were making it safe for them, push you around. … If you people don’t stop this, and now is the time and place, you people wouldn’t make a pimple on a fighting GI’s ass. Get guns…”

In the early evening White went to get the guns himself. He sent two GIs to get a truck and, with a few other veterans, perhaps a dozen, he headed for the National Guard armory. There, he said in a 1969 interview, he “broke down the armory doors and took all the rifles, two Thompson sub-machine guns, and all the ammunition we could carry, loaded it up in the two-ton truck and went back to GI headquarters and passed out seventy high-powered rifles and two bandoleers of ammunition with each one.” By 9:00 P.M. Paul Cantrell, Pat Mansfield, State Rep. George Woods, who was also a member of the election commission, and about fifty deputies were locked inside the jail and going through the ballot boxes. The presence of Mansfield and Woods meant that a majority of the election commission was on hand, so the tallies could be certified and validated on the spot. More deputies were still barricaded in the courthouse, but along the streets none were to be seen. If the Cantrell forces had been a bit more wary, they might have spotted some shadows slipping up the embankment directly across the street from the jail.

Incredible history. Read it all at AmericanHeritage.com / THE BATTLE OF ATHENS

Posted by Vanderleun at February 20, 2011 12:00 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Now THAT is history!

Posted by: Casca at February 20, 2011 12:32 PM

Notice that the New York Times supported crooked Democrats back at least as far as 1946. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Posted by: Roger Drew Williams at February 20, 2011 6:28 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)